Poco M3 Review • A great phone with a discreet design

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Not so long ago, there was a replenishment in the budget line of Xiaomi in the form of the Poco M3 model. This is a smartphone with a very capacious battery (which can “share” the charge with another device), onePlus design, and even stereo speakers.

What else the manufacturer was able to implement well, and what the user will have to put up with, we will analyze in this material.

While the bundles of flagships are losing more and more things from the package, excluding even power supplies from it, inexpensive smartphones are also sold with many accompanying accessories. The Poco M3 comes with a power supply with a cable, a paper clip and documentation, along with a transparent silicone case and a screen protector. True, you will have to glue the film yourself. 

Poco M3 2

It turns out that only the headset is missing. And even then, probably, almost every smartphone user has some suitable headphones from an old gadget or something like that. Everything else will be enough, if, of course, complete accessories suit you.

Design and usability

There is no wide variety of shapes in this price segment – the usual monoblock case, where the front side, of course, is glass, and everything else is plastic. The Poco M3 also did not receive any sliding parts, as well as catchy design elements. There are three colors of the case: black, yellow and blue, where in any case there is a dark insert on the back. The black test sample looks simple enough and doesn’t attract much attention.

Poco M3 1

Although there is one interesting point in the design – the camera unit. It sits on a glossy bezel that stretches like the OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk 2077 Edition and has a vertical POCO logo on it. Again, on a black case, it is slightly lost, but on light colors it is already much more noticeable. The rest of the back cover is textured “under the skin”, and the sides are smooth. All this is a little easily soiled, but there is nothing very critical. Moreover, such a cover is a little more practical than the usual ones, because small scratches on it should not be very conspicuous.

But in the case, the smartphone becomes more grippy, although it adds in size. Using the Poco M3 without a case, you should be prepared that in some situations it is slippery, which is why it is more convenient to operate it with two hands. In addition, the gadget is by no means small (162.3 × 77.3 × 9.6 mm, 198 grams) and so it will not only be safer, but also more comfortable to operate.

Among the controls, there are a couple of things that are becoming increasingly rare. First, the smartphone is equipped with a standard headphone jack – a nice little thing in an inexpensive device. Secondly, there was also a place for an infrared sensor that can control a TV, projector, air conditioner and other user equipment (he coped with a couple of simple TVs from LG and Philips). All other controls are pretty familiar.

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In general terms, the Poco M3 does not have any striking differences from most familiar smartphones. Despite the low price, there were no reasons to doubt the assembly or the reliability of the structure. But at the same time, the cover will not be superfluous, because the smartphone is large and in some situations it is easy to let go of the hand, and the fall will obviously not go unnoticed for it. And it’s too early to expect protection from water and dust in this price segment.

Poco M3 Display

Of course, the large body received a rather big screen. In this model, its diagonal is 6.53 inches, where the top edge has a “drop” with a front camera. Of course, there is a software version of its “masking”, but in this case, as usual, the edge is too large. For me personally, this cutout, like any other, did not greatly interfere either in games, or while watching videos and all other situations.

Other characteristics of the screen will not surprise anyone: the resolution is 2340 × 1080 pixels (395 ppi), the aspect ratio is 19.5: 9, and it protects the Gorilla Glass 3. It should be noted that even a careful user can easily leave small scratches on the display literally in a few days of use, so for those who want to keep the gadget intact as long as possible, the complete film will not be superfluous.

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The picture is taken by the IPS-matrix. It has three color modes: Auto, Saturated and Standard. In each of them, the user was left with the opportunity to adjust the color temperature to suit their preferences. At the same time, it is difficult to say that the picture changes greatly with different profiles, the changes are more related to the color temperature. I used the Standart profile, and it was very comfortable for me. And for the dark time of day, Reading mode was always turned on, which, although not as “soft” as we would like, but still reads better in the evening with it.

What the display lacks is brightness. Indoors, our colorimeter showed a maximum of 276 cd / m². Even with home lighting, the backlight rises closer to the maximum level, and on a sunny day this will obviously not be enough, even taking into account the declared support for Sunlight mode (the winter weather let down and there was no way to look at the display in the sun). The minimum brightness level was 1.6 cd / m², which is excellent for a dark room. The Poco M3 also has a light sensor, which sometimes has to “help” a little.

Face and fingerprint scan

The list of smartphone features includes both popular quick unlock methods. The fingerprint scanner is built into the power button on the right side. It can be configured for five prints and different grip and position of the smartphone. There were no problems in working with it: just lightly touch the sensor, as the smartphone began the unlocking process.

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The front camera is engaged in face scanning. For the convenience of the user, the smartphone can be activated by lifting it from the table, and while the owner comfortably takes it in his hand, the system will have time to “recognize” the face and unlock (or stop on the lock screen before swiping, this is also configurable on demand). And this method works a little faster than a fingerprint sensor. But his drawbacks are standard: you will have to take off big glasses, and in the dark you will need a bright screen backlight that can dazzle.

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If both unlock methods are active, then there will be no need to enter the password at all. In any case, during the testing of the smartphone, I did not have to remember the PIN code.

Poco M3 Sound

One of the very cool features of this “budget employee” is the sound. Smartphones with a low price practically do not have stereo speakers, while the Poco M3 has a conversational speaker that works with the main speaker while playing video, music, games and other things. At the same time, the sound itself is good. It, of course, differs markedly in “purity” from flagship smartphones (not for the better), but there are no strong “wheezing” and the low frequencies have not been forgotten. For such a price tag, there is not the slightest claim to the sound.

The earpiece speaker does not work very loudly at maximum power in the telephone mode, but you can hear the interlocutor. There are no obvious problems with the microphone either, and everything will be fine on the other side of the conversation. In addition, the noise cancellation system is able to decently distinguish the environment from the user’s voice, which will add comfort when communicating.

There is also a headphone jack. There is no headset in the kit, so the user is left with only third-party options. For example, Monster Jamz’s Poco M3 henchmen sound good. This quality is absolutely sufficient for playing music on the go. The connector itself, of course, would be more convenient to place on the bottom, not the top, but this is a subjective matter of habit.

Performance and software

The computing power in the Poco M3 is occupied by an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor with Adreno 610 graphics. There are two options for the delivery of the smartphone, both of which received 4 GB of RAM, but differ in storage capacity: 64 GB (UFS 2.1) and 128 GB (UFS 2.2) … You can expand the memory using a microSD card, which will not take the place of a second SIM card. The state employee does not support new generations of communication and will have to be satisfied with only LTE, and the available Wi-Fi standard is only ac. But for wireless accessories there is Bluetooth 5.0. Well, the usual set of navigation systems is supported. All this forms a quite sufficient “package” for an inexpensive smartphone.

For everyday tasks, the power of “iron” is enough. True, a little slowness is still sometimes noticeable, but it is noticeable only in comparison with more expensive gadgets. In general, if we ignore the infrequent hitch that occurs when launching applications or in the interface, then there is nothing critical in the operation of a smartphone. But it obviously won’t keep open applications in memory for a long time, which may be more important for the power users category. And for the average user, there shouldn’t be any problems. In any case, at the start of work there were no such, even the PUBG game worked comfortably.

But what the smartphone really lacked was the NFC sensor. In the modern world, where terminals with contactless payment are almost everywhere, it is without this option that the user’s life can be minimally complicated, because he will have to take out his wallet and fiddle with plastic cards once again. A smartphone could significantly facilitate such daily processes. 

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Android 10 with MIUI 12 looks good on this device too. The interface is customizable and with its own set of nice little things in the style of gesture control, transparent interface elements, customizable menus and more. Again, if it weren’t for periodic slowdowns or “jerky” animations, the feel of the work would have been better, but it’s hard to say that “everything is bad.” As for an inexpensive smartphone, everything here works sanely and is quite nicely designed. But it is not yet known whether there will be major updates for such a device.

Poco M3 cameras

Looking at the camera window, the assumption is involuntarily built that there are many opportunities here. But in practice, it turns out that basically the user will only access one of them. There are three sensors: a wide-angle one with a resolution of 48 MP and an aperture value of ƒ / 1.79, as well as a pair of 2-megapixel sensors with ƒ / 2.4, one of which helps with portraits, and the other does macro. Personally, I would gladly change both of the latter for one ultra-wide-angle lens, but the manufacturer went the other way.

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In the daytime, the main camera did not impress much. The built-in AI-mode tends to “embellish” individual shades, which does not convey the real picture well. The exposure will also often have to be corrected, because sometimes something can be overexposed, and sometimes vice versa.

Night mode is not ready for any scene and does not always handle noise in the best way, but for this price, I personally was pleased with its work. The main object of the scene often looks very good, and this is already a pleasant result for such a gadget.

The macro function was not added to the shooting modes menu at all and is located in the additional settings. She needs a lot of light, and preferably natural. But even this will not be the key to success, because the resolution of the photo is very low, and the overall quality is mediocre.

Conclusion

Looking at a rather large list of smartphone advantages and its price, one involuntarily concludes that it will not be so difficult to put up with the shortcomings. The Poco M3 will definitely not suit the demanding user, but for a buyer who is primarily concerned with autonomy and a very low price, it will be one of the best options. Yes, the gadget does not have much performance, there is no NFC and there are nuances in the operation of cameras, but with such autonomy, stereo speakers and other pleasant little things, the compromises will not look so critical.

 

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